Condomgate: Pope’s Clarification Is Now Highly Desirable

A word from him would be fully in order now.

Beautiful blog post from the “Reluctant Sinner”.

Its author clearly does not put into question the orthodoxy of the Holy Father; nor does he believe that the Pontiff wanted to start a debate or change things in matters of contraception in any way. But he clearly points out to the fact that the words of “clarification” from the Pontiff (as reported by the never-so-very-safe Lombardi) add fuel to the controversy rather than putting an end to it.

The simple fact is that whilst even the new “explanations” as reported by Father Lombardi do not change anything in the Catholic teaching (or in the Pope’s thinking, come to that) about the matter, this bad habit of reporting single phrases without a context is not doing anyone (particularly the Holy Father, let alone the many confused Catholics) any favour.

The words were carelessly chosen first in the choice of the homosexual/condom scenario to explain that even an evil man can gradually, slowly develop first signs of moral awakening. Yes he can, but if the concept is expressed in this way it will be misunderstood. Then came the extraordinary initiative of the Osservatore Romano to break ranks and publish excerpts of the interview without context or comment, which made things much worse anyway and unleashed the mastiffs of the secular press. Thirdly came the “explanation”, which – whilst not unorthodox in the least – is still such that the untrained secular journalist could, perhaps even in good faith, think that the Holy Father really meant that the female prostitute is justified in using the condom.

It is now, I respectfully dare say, necessary that a carefully worded statement is issued – not by Lombardi but by the Pope himself – clearly saying what is what. This should be done not in order to explain to well-instructed Catholics what they already know, but in order to put some order among the ranks of the not-so-well informed Catholics (the vast majority, nowadays) who could easily be misled from what they think and read that he would have said.

The problem is, in its root, of Vatican making. No doubt about that.

Time to clear the mess once and for all, I think.


Posted on November 25, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sadly, I would be quite surprised if Benedict says anything at all about this. Happily surprised, mind you, but still surprised nonetheless. Benedict’s way, like John Paul 2 before him, is to talk in ambiguities which can be interpreted in many ways.

    And overlooked almost totally is this condom mess is another shocking statement from Benedict, from the same book, in which he flatly states that he is not seeking the conversion of Jews “in the missionary sense” (his words, not mine) but rather hoping for some future, undefined unity – whatever that means. How the Holy Father aquares that with the clear statement of Christ to “teach all nations” is beyond me.

    I’ve always thought John Paul was a deeply troubled man. But I’m beginning to wonder if Benedict is going down the same path as his predecessor.

  2. Schmenz,
    I haven’t read the book (yet) but I think that you are absolutely right that conversion applies to everyone. I have heard (Oratory) that it is a diffuse opinion that the Jews will be the last ones to be converted, in a sort of circular process which sees God, so to speak, beginning and ending with them. But this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be converted, for sure.


  3. I’ve always felt that the Christian obsession with modern (as in, post-Incarnation) Jews stems from a lack of faith in Christ as the messiah. Not all Jews become Christians, and this has thrown Christians into tizzies for centuries. It might mean that Jesus really wasn’t the savior, oh no!

    In the past, I think this was one of the factors by their awful treatment at the hands of Christians- ghettos, blood libel, pogroms, all of that evil. In more modern times, I think it is a factor in the rather obsequious behavior that is frequently shown to them, because, hey, they’re still the Chosen People, right? Let’s ignore the fact that Jesus explicitly opened the status of “Chosen person” to anyone who believed in him.

    Also keep in mind that the Holy Father, as everyone else, is a product of his own time. In this case, World War II. The genocide of the Jews by his own people has probably left a permanent mark on him that may not let him look at the situation of “Jews” with 100% objectivity.

%d bloggers like this: